If there’s a sound that’s associated with tobacco consumption, it has to be the soft, percussive beat of a bubbling bong. Long used as a way to filter out the harsher elements of smoke when inhaling, the humble bong is one of the favored ways to consume ground up dried tobacco.
The History of Bongs
While the workings of the bong shouldn’t be considered mysterious, the origin of the word lacks a proven source. Currently, the settled thought appears to be that the word stems from the Thai “baung,” which refers to a wooden water pipe typically made from bamboo. Yet, other historians believe its true heritage may be of African nature, specifically the Bong’om tribe who used dirt and mud to build smoking pipes straight into the earth. Further, the use of water to filter and cool smoke may reach back to the Ming Dynasty of China, as well as warrior tribes who used pure gold to fashion their own ur-version of a bong in what is now Russia.
Parts of a Bong
The purpose of a bong is to cool and filter the smoke of burning tobacco through water. Filtration is made possible through the five parts of a bong:
- Base: a long, vertical pipe that’s filled partially with water.
- Downstem: a small tube that slides into the base at an angle and whose end sits in the standing water.
- Carburetor (commonly referred to as the “carb”): a slight hole on the side of the base used on some, but not all bongs, to generate a rush of air, allowing for easier inhaling by the user.
- Bowl: a compartment on the top end of the downstem where the user packs their dried herbs.
- Percolator: a filter that helps create bubbles in the water when the smoke is inhaled and is sometimes used to block ice from falling into the water. Like the carb, this component isn’t necessarily seen on every bong.
Types of Bongs
The real beauty of the bong is the craftsmanship that goes into making one, as well as the level of customization available to the consumer. You can see the diverse range of bongs at Bud’s Glass Joint, where we only offer bongs crafted exclusively by local glass blowers. We offer a bong for every need, from mini-bongs for easy transportation, single-chamber bongs for easy operation and cleaning, or uniquely designed glassware that can serve as an artistic centerpiece to any room.
Where to Buy a Bong in Phoenix
Whether you’re looking to make your first bong purchase or add to your stable of water pipes, visit Bud’s Glass Joint, the Downtown Phoenix smoke shop. Our selection of glass is second to none, with a vast assortment of shapes, colors, and sizes, all crafted by Arizona glass blowers. Our selection includes enchanted trees, purple dinosaurs, blue warlocks, and even the cutest puppy bong you’ve ever seen. If you stop by for our First Friday celebrations, you’ll also see live glass blowers creating their art while local musicians perform theirs.